Living in the dreamland

AP Euro students roam around Rome


Andrew Ostendorf

ADVENTURE. Fondly remembered by those who have been on it, the AP Euro trip journeyed to France and Italy over spring break. Activities included sightseeing major tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and living out the true italian experience on a gondola in Venice. While each city was thoroughly enjoyed, many students had a favorite out of the five visited. “My favorite city on the trip was Venice. It is a beautiful city and I loved just walking around with my friends and a cone of gelato by the canals and winding streets,” said Reagan Becker, 10.

Although spring break has departed, the memories have not.

On March 16, 43 AP European History students accompanied by SHS teachers began a 10-day adventure in Europe. This trip presented a once in a lifetime opportunity for AP Euro students and their friends to travel to Europe.

Over the course of this trip, they eagerly explored France and Italy through the help of Education First (EF) tours, an educational tour group. Students spent four days in Paris before boarding a night train to visit the Italian cities of Venice, Florence, Assisi. They eventually concluded their trip in Rome.

While each city held its own unique quality, a group consensus concluded that their favorite cities were the small coastal towns of Italy.

Especially a hit was Venice.

“My favorite place was Venice because it was so pretty and the water was really blue, but I liked all the cities we went to. The food was also amazing everywhere we went, especially the gelato in Italy. Honestly the best trip I’ve ever been on,” said Ella Burgess, 10.

Likewise, sophomore Kyle Heaton’s favorite city was Venice “because [he] and a group of friends got five hours of free time to just roam around. [They] had lunch by the river and afterward [they] sat on the dock and just watched the boats.”

Furthermore, the cities enriched in history were also very well liked.

On one hand, Paul Queenan, 10, notes how his “favorite moment of the whole trip was visiting Normandy beach. Reading about it in a textbook is one thing but actually standing there is another. It’s truly a moving moment.”

Similarly, sophomore Dylan Connors said that her favorite city on the trip was Rome because “…not only was it a beautiful city, but it was so fun to see all the history. I loved seeing the Colosseum and the ruins of the Roman Forum. Too me, it felt like walking straight into a moment of history.”

As for other trip highlights? To skim the surface, in France, students got the chance to see the Eiffel Tower lit at night, explore the World War II beaches and trenches of Normandy and of course, visit the famed Louvre. Then in Italy, students got to try their hands on an authentic Florentine cooking class and also received hours of free time to wander through the shop filled streets.

Apart from those activities, some of the best memories were not always planned.

“One of my favorite memories was exploring Florence at night and dancing in the streets with some other friends right in front of the lit up Duomo! Assisi was another favorite since I got to practice some Italian and eat amazing food with an absolutely stunning view. I also got so much closer with a lot of different people,” said Marilene van den Berg, another trip attendee.

Caitlin Chien, 10, agrees, claiming that her “favorite aspect of the trip was getting to know people I don’t usually talk to. I also loved traveling with my friends and learning new things about them.”

In fact, Chien also says that her favorite memories included “late night talks with my roommates and the night train we took from Paris to Venice.”

As for words of advice for future trip attendees?

Sophomore Sara Bolger advises “eating gelato at least 2 times a day and gaining at least 10 pounds because the food is totally worth it.”